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Sex Transm Infect. 2012 Oct;88(6):462-4. Epub 2012 May 24.

A cross-sectional survey of attitudes to HIV risk and rapid HIV testing among clients of sex workers in Switzerland.

Author information

1
Infectious Diseases Service, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland. katharine.darling@chuv.ch

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To assess attitudes to HIV risk and acceptability of rapid HIV testing among clients of street-based female sex workers (FSW) in Lausanne, Switzerland, where HIV prevalence in the general population is 0.4%.

METHODS:

The authors conducted a cross-sectional study in the red light district of Lausanne for five nights in September of 2008, 2009 and 2010. Clients of FSW were invited to complete a questionnaire in the street assessing demographic characteristics, attitudes to HIV risk and HIV testing history. All clients interviewed were then offered anonymous finger stick rapid HIV testing in a van parked on-site.

RESULTS:

The authors interviewed 112, 127 and 79 clients in 2008, 2009 and 2010, respectively. All were men, average age 32-37 years old; 40-60% were in a stable relationship. History of unprotected sex was higher with non-commercial partners (33-50%) than with FSW (6-11%); 29-46% of clients had never undergone an HIV test. Anonymous rapid HIV testing was accepted by 45-50% of clients. Out of 109 HIV tests conducted during the three study periods, none was reactive.

CONCLUSIONS:

On-site HIV counselling and testing is acceptable among clients of FSW in this urban setting. These individuals represent an unquantified population, a proportion of which has an incomplete understanding of HIV risk in the face of high-risk behaviour, with implications for potential onward transmission to non-commercial sexual partners.

PMID:
22628660
DOI:
10.1136/sextrans-2012-050489
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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